Property Rights, Land Use and Zoning


Zoning, Land Use Disputes, and Eminent Domain

 

Your property is your most important investment. That investment can be threatened by disputes with neighboring property owners or governmental bodies. Our goal at Merit Law Group is to protect your property and your investment.



Zoning and Development

 

Looking to redevelop, change uses, or expand your operations? Our land use attorneys are experts in working with counties, cities and villages to obtain the necessary zoning and land use approvals, be it a subdivision, planned development, or special use permit.


Unlike other firms, we also specialize in representing home owners, condominium boards and community groups who have legitimate concerns regarding neighboring developments. Often, property owners are unfamiliar with the zoning approval process and can steamrolled by developers and government officials. We work to defend your property against poor planning and harmful development.

 

We understand the all aspects of the planning and zoning process in cities and towns throughout Cook, Lake and DuPage, and McHenry Counties and work to prevent developments that negatively impact your property values and lifestyle. This includes advocacy with local planning officials, planning and zoning boards, and elected officials.

 

Well organized neighbors who oppose poorly planned projects have more power than they know. We help harness that power. Our goal during the planning phase is to improve proposed projects and prevent development that negatively impacts your property values. But, if the time comes, we are well equipped to fight harmful and illegal development in court, taking cases all the way to trial when necessary.

 

Eminent Domain


The State of Illinois, counties, and local governments have broad powers to acquire your property for road improvement, public facilities, and even open space. But the government’s authority is limited by the United States Constitution and Illinois law. We have the expertise to determine whether the governmental body is within its right to take your property, or is illegally exceeding its authority.


When the government is properly authorized to take your property, it must pay you “just compensation” for the property it acquires and, in the case of a partial taking, pay for the economic damage it causes to the parts of your property that remain after the taking.
Although governmental bodies are required to negotiate with you before they acquire your property, the government rarely offers truly fair compensation as part of this process. That is where we come in.

 

We know the limits to the government’s powers and, more importantly, we understand your rights to be fully and fairly compensated if your property is taken or damaged. Working with expert land planners and appraisers, we will fight for every dollar you are owed, and readily present your case to a jury.

 

Disputes With Neighboring Owners


Good neighbors are like family; bad neighbors can make your life miserable. Unfortunately, property disputes with neighbors sometime occur. These disputes include trespass, easement rights, water drainage, HOA or condominium board rules, noise and other nuisances, and neighboring construction.
Illinois law allows you to sue a neighboring property owner directly when he or she is violating local zoning and building codes and your city, village or town refuses to take appropriate action. We work to problem-solve but are prepared to preserve your hard-earned property rights by taking legal action.


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